Race Weekend Central

4 Burning Questions: The Vaccine Column

What is the COVID situation currently?

It has now been two weeks since the COVID-19 vaccines were made available to all adults in the United States, and it’s clear that the key to getting this virus under control is getting as many people as possible vaccinated.

This is certainly not a political issue. Regardless of your political beliefs at this point, it can be mutually agreed that Washington D.C. is extremely divided right now. Even then, on Wednesday night, both the President’s State of the Union address and the opposing party’s response praised the vaccines as being safe and effective.

Doctors say that the vaccines are safe. So do scientists. As do the politicians on both sides. And the eye test is says the same; millions upon millions of people have been vaccinated, and there is no evidence that the vaccines lead to death or major problems. If they had, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines would have been paused by the FDA sometime in the past four months like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a couple of weeks ago.

This is an important point in this pandemic. The country is rapidly approaching the point in which vaccine supply outweigh the demand. The United States has been very lucky with their vaccination rates, as compared to the nightmare currently unfolding in India and less developed countries across the globe. The problem is that there are a number of disinformation hubs on social media that want to portray the choice to get vaccinated or not as an issue in which they represent one “side” of the “issue”. In reality, they should not, because they are liars, grifters trying to take your money, clicks, and views. They should not play a part in anybody’s choice to be vaccinated or not, as they lie about aftereffects of the vaccine that have no basis in reality.

For the record, Frontstretch is not my day job whatsoever, I do not work for a company profiting off of people becoming vaccinated, and I write about whatever I want in this column within reason. I’m not receiving anything special from this website as far as making this column focused on vaccinations, and while I have been vaccinated and believe everybody should, I also respect somebody’s decision not to get one. As long as their rationale has nothing to do with said bad information con artists above.

What has been NASCAR’s response?

A number of NASCAR drivers have confirmed that they have taken the vaccine. Myatt Snider, Ryan Vargas, and Austin Cindric are among them. Maybe it’s time to check in on the leader of the garage, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Oh, I’m sorry. That’s Jimmie Johnson, the former leader of the Cup garage and the guy who “passed the torch” over to Chase Elliott. What does Elliott have to say about being vaccinated?

So, Chase is correct in that it is everybody’s choice to get vaccinated. The problem with this statement is that he’s acting like he and himself alone can judge himself on what is best for his health. This is a, uhh, bad take. I don’t know why I need to explain this in 2021, but here I am: please listen to doctors. Whether it’s your personal one or the doctors at the CDC.

There’s a very simple way to rephrase this statement. “I am listening to various medical personnel, both my doctor and the top-of-the-line wellness staff at Hendrick Motorsports, in order to make a personal yet informed decision as to whether or not to receive the vaccine”. That’s it. The problem with not outlining like that and instead hemming and hawwing about making a private decision alone is that it makes it seem like an issue with two equal sides, which it really is not. It’s the advice of doctors and scientists… and that’s it! This is a comment a driver makes if they support raising taxes on the top whatever percent of Americans, not if the subject is about whether to take a safe vaccine to combat a deadly virus.

See also
2-Headed Monster: Should NASCAR Mandate Drivers Get COVID-19 Vaccines?

It’s pretty incredible that, at this point, there really is no controversy as far as if it’s right to ban smoking from the grandstands of any sporting event. It’s harmful to the user’s health, but more importantly it’s harmful to people around the user due to the effects of secondhand smoke. Yet, then the subject turns to COVID-19, a virus that has killed a ridiculous amount of people worldwide in just a year, and suddenly a select group of people, we’ll call them “snowflakes”, get extremely and loudly offended at the idea of getting protected from the disease or the simple act of wearing a mask. As in yelling that they are being “repressed” or “segregated” for their decisions. I’m not saying that comments like Elliott’s or Steve Phelp’s “slippery slope” quote is reflective of those snowflakes, but it does embolden them not to make decisions that could potentially save their lives. Even IndyCar is taking more of a lead on this issue than NASCAR is.

Should NASCAR force personnel to become vaccinated? That’s a debate this website has already had, but if they do choose to do that, that’s their decision to make as a private company.

Who will drive for Kaulig Racing next season?

This week, Matt Kaulig revealed to Sirus XM that Kaulig Racing would move up to Cup racing next season.

It comes as no surprise, as Kaulig Racing already figured to be a Cup team next season as per Forbes. The interesting thing here is who Kaulig gets to drive the car, which should contend well judging by both the No. 16’s performance in limited starts this season and Trackhouse Racing Team’s performance as a fellow Richard Childress Racing partner organization.

See also
Kaulig Racing to Run Full Cup Schedule in 2022

It’s very unlikely that Kaulig would do a multi-driver deal. Thirty-three drivers this season have started every race, compared to 37 cars that have started every race. And of the four cars in the margin there, the only organization that doesn’t also have at least one full time driver is Live Fast Motorsports. Not having one driver every week makes it hard to sell sponsorships, as those companies want the driver to compete for a championship and potentially at least make the playoffs. The owner’s championship and playoffs receive a fraction of the coverage; nobody cared in 2015 when Kyle Busch came back in the No. 18 at least competing for an owner’s championship.

They have a good problem, because they have plenty of options. Justin Haley is going to be ready for Cup racing after this season, Kaz Grala has performed when taking over the No. 16 this year, Jeb Burton has experience and skill, AJ Allmendinger is probably the pick if he wants it. If Allmendinger doesn’t want the ride, it could be a pretty fun season watching Haley and Burton essentially compete for this promotion.

Is the new Racing Reference format a positive?


Fix Racing Reference, guys.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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Social media disinformation hubs !!
Wake up, FOX news spews more disinformation and outright lies than anyone else, period. I really don’t know if they are lying for political purposes, or if they just have that many morons at one network.

A Different Steve

Yes. Because we all know CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NY Times, Washington Post are all the best place to get factual news.

Bill B

Agree 100%. For any intelligent person to think their media is fair and unbiased while the “other side” is total BS can’t be intelligent. Both sides are reflections of the other and both are full of shit.
One thing I am definitely worried about is how casually the word “trillion” is being used. Just because we can’t see the downside of unbridled spending doesn’t mean there isn’t one. As businesses start opening up unemployment benefits should be more heavily scrutinized. I am hearing lots of businesses saying they can’t get people to work. Gee I wonder why?

Carl D.

$1,000,000,000,000.00 is what a trillion dollars looks like. Almost unfathomable.

David Edwards

Virginia is soon to go back to you have to apply for jobs each week. Which I assume means a return to if your employer calls you back and you don’t go, goodbye unemployment.
States vary I suppose.


So right, A Different Steve!

David Edwards

Thought that was Sydney Green not the media company whose name begins with an “F”.

Bill B

As reported by…..

Bill B

Ahh, I didn’t realize it was a personal libel case.
I guess my only retort could be that you have shown me one case.

And I am to assume that proves “None of these media companies have argued in court that no reasonable person would believe what their most prominent personality says like Fox has.”

You have shown me proof that someone sued Fox for something that was said on one of their shows. You have not proven the innocence of the rest of the media companies. Nor have you proven the prevalence of these actions on Fox far outpace such libel suits against other media companies.
But I will give you credit for having a specific example to throw back at me.

David Edwards

Just read the court filings. Did all of the networks report that? No clue.


Nascars response has been just fine. Make a personal decision regarding a personal matter.

It’s laughable that you would let a “celebrity” opinion sway you one way or the other.

Mr Yeppers

I haven’t taken the vaccine yet not because doctors say its safe and there are no “short term effects”, it’s the totally unproven long term effects that are completely unknown that concern me. Most vaccines take years to properly develop. Big Pharma is making billions off of this at the taxpayers expense. A friends wife is a nurse who had both shots and then 3 weeks later caught full blown Covid from a patient. So does it even work? Who really knows?


The vaccine, just like all vaccines, doesn’t stop you from getting the virus. It helps fight it. Did the nurse survive? A lot of people haven’t. I think the bigger question is the long term effects of getting the virus. People are still not fully recovered after a year or more.


It really doesn’t do any good to argue with people who don’t believe in science and common sense.


I strongly disagree with you when it comes to Chase’s choice to make health decisions for himself. It is his ‘right’, yes or no, to take the vaccine as it is everyones choice. He is an intelligent young man and fully capable of deciding. It was a hard thought decision for my husband and myself on taking it or not as we are both elderly and he has several health issues. We did take the shot but our children have not nor will they take it and I understand their choice. It’s the long term issues that they are concerned about and maybe having to do a booster every year and putting unknown substances in their bodies. Getting tired of being told a person has to do something and not being able to make your own personal choice.


I have said before that Chase seems afraid to offend his many fans by making a statement about vaccines. It is sad to see that he has failed to take a leadership role given his popularity and his position as NASCAR Cup champion. I am disappointed in him.

If he actually has some concern about the vaccine, why not voice that instead of hiding behind some meaningless words?

Furthermore, NASCAR has been way behind other sports in the effort to stop the spread of COVID. Other sports have mandatory testing. NASCAR relies on self-reporting, which is just another way of hiding.

WJW Motorsports

Or perhaps he is intelligent enough to not be drawn into a lose/lose political issue?


Chase shows leadership by coming to his own conclusion about the vaccine for himself and not getting on the bandwagon and using his position in NASCAR to try and sway anyone. This virus has been here long enough that everyone has heard all the good and the bad sides of the vaccine and everyone should be more than able, by now, to make their own decision and not be led by any one person. Think for yourselves and figure it out for you – take it or don’t.

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